Paris-Nice Stage 5: First of Four Days in the Mountains8. March 2018, Sisteron (FRA) — Road Team
Paris-Nice stage 5 served as a warm up for the three big days in the mountains and saw a surprise win from the breakaway in Sisteron.
After the stage 4 individual time trial, the peloton tackled 163.5km and four categorized climbs, including the first category 1 climb of the 2018 edition.
Four riders formed the day’s breakaway in the opening 10km and built an advantage that reached a maximum of 4’30” halfway through the stage.
The peloton kept the race situation under control until the pace picked up with 40km remaining, when splits in the peloton saw riders strung out in single file.
Jempy Drucker crashed with 50km remaining but was able to continue riding and finish the stage despite some abrasions.
After passing the finish line for the first time with 19km to go, the breakaway’s advantage was still two minutes strong and with one small climb remaining, the peloton had to increase the chase to bring the race back together before the finish.
Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) and Jerome Cousin (Direct Energie) split the breakaway and forged on ahead to hold a steady advantage in the last 10km and with 4km to go, the duo was 40-seconds clear of the bunch.
Jürgen Roelandts was well position in the first 15 riders in the breakaway as they closed in on the leading duo but was caught behind a crash inside the final kilometer and was forced to brake, losing all momentum in the sprint.
Cousin held on to take the stage win and behind the peloton fought for third place on the stage.
Dylan Teuns crossed the line with the bunch to maintain 14th on the General Classification, one minute behind race leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team).
Quotes from the Finish Line
“It was an easy day like a normal sprint stage should be, even with the long climb. I was expecting the final to be a little bit easier but it was hard. I was in a perfect position on the last climb and the guys brought me up there well. But I can still feel the efforts from yesterday. It wasn’t an easy 25 minutes yesterday. In the end, everything went well and now we have three important stages coming up. So it’s important to recover well for the next stages.”
“It was good today. I still have some pain in my left side but the final went pretty well. My position was good and I was in Greipel’s wheel, who came third as he won the bunch sprint. But a rider fell just in front of me and I had to brake with 600 meters to go and then I lost all of my position.”
Stage 5 Salon-de-Provence > Cistern (163.5km)
Top 3: 1.Jerome Cousin (Direct Energie), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), 3. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal)
BMC Racing Team top 3: 27. Jürgen Roelandts, 46. Alessandro De Marchi, 65. Nicolas Roche.
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.